I made all my New Year's resolutions small and silly and it actually made me keep them
New Year’s resolutions have gotten a real bad rep over the last few years. We vow to lose weight, we say we’ll save more cash, we plan borderline unattainable things for ourselves to achieve over the next measly 365 days. But what if we didn’t? What if we kept our NYE proclamations small and more doable? I am still psyched on resolutions and I think you can be too. The purpose of resolutions are not to set unattainable goals, it’s to meet the goals we do set regardless of how big or small. If you’re someone who has conquered a New Year’s Resolution, you know the high lasts all day. You feel brave, you feel accomplished, you feel like a queen who can set and meet goals like the most organized and dedicated worker bee. Once you change your outlook of what qualifies as a resolution you can even — gasp — set a resolution you know you’ll hit, just for the high. Sounds pointless, until you’re slowly crossing it off a list like a boss. Mhm. So good.
Here are some ways to set small, fun (and even silly) New Year’s resolution that you’ll actually want to fulfill.
Somewhere along the line, setting resolutions became a contest of who could sound more impressive. Hey, if they aren’t life-altering, why make them? Anyone can understand why you’d resolve to pinch pennies and save your dough this year, but if it happens to be the same year you’re about to buy a house, get a better car and have twins; having enough money to buy toilet paper will be a triumph in itself. Instead, make this year’s goal to be open to living creatively to make ends meet. This will not be the year (most likely) that you add a cool million to your savings account, and proposing that you will is just mean. There’s a huge difference between being ambitious and being downright disrespectful to yourself. Don’t do the second one. Setting yourself up for failure is not the point.
For example: If you vow to eat healthier, but you are on a gluten-free diet, think specifically about what within your diet you’d like to change. If you vaguely say “eat better,” then find yourself eating a tray of gluten-free brownies at two in the morning (heavenly, btw) a week later, you’re going to feel like you’ve already screwed up. If you say, “try five new vegetables this year,” now you’re getting somewhere! By setting a very specific goal, you can achieve it easily and see where it takes you. If it’s mid-February and you’ve tried okra, shallots, romanesco, turnips and chayote (somewhere between a zucchini and cucumber taste-wise, but not in appearance — God has an odd sense of humor, people), you’re done! Cross this off the list as a completed resolution, and just try not to revisit these new additions to your veggie repertoire. At the very least, you’ll finally recognize the basket ingredients on Chopped.
Two years ago, a perfect resolution struck me: Wear more lipstick. The “Instagram lip” had just become a thing (brother to the “Instagram brow,” of course) and I’d fall asleep watching the most delicious vids of lip color being swiped on anonymous Jolie-style lips on Insta. I made the promise to add lipstick to my daily life as often as it felt comfortable — definitely to meet friends for brunch but maybe not so much just to walk the dog. I practiced and got really good at lining and filling in; researched some good drugstore dupes for top-selling NARS shades so I wouldn’t go broke. I started collecting pretty shades in different color families from CVS and sometimes Sephora. By the summer, I was rocking a hot orange lip with a white tee and ripped denim shorts and feeling like the freshest, most trendy version of myself. Weeks would go by where I wouldn’t think to swipe on a shade or it just didn’t feel appropriate (didn’t love the idea of a vampy purple at my office desk, don’t know why), and that was okay. It just taught me something new over the course of a year; that I can wear the sh*t out of a neon lip and it boosts my confidence like crazy. I felt proud that I could meet this resolution and benefit from it in the long run. I wore a size 12 jeans the entire year, and still found a new way to love myself and what I look like.
If not meeting a resolution will make you feel bad or guilty, take it back to the drawing board and revise it.
It’s a little tough to convince ourselves that New Year’s Resolutions can be silly and small and serve the same purpose as our past unmet super-resolutions. Ideas like: finally getting a short haircut (short for you can mean just three inches off the bottom), swimming at least twice, learning to poach an egg, or finding your signature perfume scent are resolutions just as much as “squatting my way to a Kardashian butt.” If the butt thing is more your speed, kudos! But if it isn’t, don’t swear off resolutions for good. This weekend, when you’re wearing your sparkliest things and discussing 2017 as you wait for the ball to drop, consider your own personal list of goals. They are for you — not anybody else. If your sole resolution is to do more kissing, good! In fact, get a head start on that one, ASAP.